I writing to you in relation to the North Essex Garden Communities development which your organisation (or your member organisations) may or may not already be involved with. In order to ensure that the development is informed by the views and interests of the local voluntary and community sector (VCS), we are interested to find out if you or any other local VS organisation would be interested in being involved in a series of free local Healthy New Town Learning & Implementation events which may take place at North Essex Garden Communities development later this year.
The North Essex Garden Communities development has been shortlisted as an area of housing growth with the potential and scope to act on Healthy New Towns learning and innovation which has been built up by ten demonstrator sites over the last three years. As you may be aware The Healthy New Towns (HNT) programme was launched by NHS England in July 2015, working with new housing developments create health-promoting new developments which work closely with the VCS sector.
NHS England will shortly be publishing ‘Putting Health into Place’ guidelines for how local communities should plan and design a healthy built environment based on the learning from the programme. NHS England wants to identify areas that have the motivation and capacity to implement the guidance in a more active way and have commissioned us as part of a consortium of partners to design and facilitate a series of events, shaped by the needs of those local areas.
We are looking for sites:
- with the appetite and commitment to local partnership working to design and deliver a healthier new place locally – across health, planning and housing developers, and the VCS sector;
- with the ability and commitment to invest the necessary time and resources to participate in the full events series; and
- With a strong and vibrant VCS sector which is able to participate in a series of learning events (below), as well as in the shaping of the new development itself.
As such, it would be great if you could let me know:
- Does your organisation already have links with the North Essex Garden Communities and, if so, in what capacity?
- If you are not already connected with North Essex Garden Communities, would you be interested in being more connected and involved, in order to shape the development for local residents?
- Would you organisation or members be interested in attending one or more of the learning events highlighted below?
- If not, are there any other local VCS orgs which are already connected to North Essex Garden Communities or which you believe may be interested in being involved?
If you would prefer to discuss this over the phone, please let me know and we can arrange a call.
We plan to deliver the learning and implementation events through a mix of face-to-face and digital events to maximise participants’ time and value for money; enable collective learning and networking where there are common themes and challenges; and provide areas the opportunity to hear from a broader range of examples and approaches to learn from.
- Opening webinar for all areas: 12 July – introduction to the programme and the events series approach; and an opportunity to introduce the areas to one another. Opportunity to hear more about the guidance from those that have produced it and how participation in these events will help progress local plans
- First set of half day local events in September 2019 – First event will focus participants on imagining what is possible, developing their common vision and goals and hearing from relevant demonstrator sites on how they have approached similar areas and challenges. Participants will identify areas of alignment and common objectives where they think they can have the biggest impact for local people and where there is sufficient will to create change.
- Second webinar for all areas: September/October 2019 – sharing discussions from first set of events and focusing in on common themes that all areas are interested in with relevant expert speakers;
- Second set of half-day local events in October/November 2019 – participants will be guided through a series of exercises to co-develop logic models to depict their theory of change and confirm the most impactful activity areas. Participants will co-develop and commit to annual action plans that concretely describe planned next steps.
Let me know if you have any questions.
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